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By Real Brides-to-Be
A New Venue in Stillwater
By: | Posted: 09/19/2011
A picture has the ability to transport you back to an exact moment in time. It can take a memory and capture it for always. Choosing a photographer for our wedding was supposed to be a pretty big deal. After all, the images he or she captures are going to let us re-live our big day over and over again for years to come. One of the most repetitive pieces of advice I've gotten for our big day, was, "Don't skimp on the photographer." After doing my due diligence researching photographers through The Knot, I had us mentally prepared that the only way we could have fabulous photos was to spend a fabulous amount of money.
I spent hours 'stalking' wedding photos and drawing inspiration from what I saw. I knew I wanted someone who could capture the fun, romance, and pizazz Nate and I have as a couple. :) I also knew we were up against a major photo road-block, and needed someone who has mad photoshop skills. My darling fiance has a hard time keeping his eyes open, and capturing my little brother smiling in a photo is a like a million-to-one odds.
Ideally, I also wanted someone who could photograph our whole weekend of festivities from start to finish without totally breaking the bank. (Our groom's dinner is a big welcome party for all of our out-of-town guests at Pinstripes, but more on that another time.)
Most of the pricing guides I saw out there were anywhere from $3,000-$5,000 for just a few hours, plus the cost of all of your prints. I know our photos are important. However, it seemed crazy to me to spend a fair portion of our wedding budget on photos that, more than likely, will mostly remain tucked away. My recently married bridesmaid, Tanya, suggested check out the photographer she had used, Imagen by Alex Del Toro.
She raved about his fair pricing, unlimited image rights, and creative ideas. Since I was part of Tanya's wedding party, I couldn't argue the fact that he captured some incredible images during her big day. Tanya has uploaded all 2,000 some photos to Facebook . . . so it was pretty cool to see almost every detail of the wedding caught by camera.
Nate and I met with Alex and Britney at Imagen to talk about our vision, and what we wanted out of our wedding photos. They are located in St. Paul, in one of the coolest old buildings near downtown. Many years ago, it was actually a church and it's easy to see that these two have been 'blessed' with great talent. (Okay, so that was super cheesy, but I'm definitely known for a bad joke or two every now and then.) We spent some time getting to know them and what Imagen is all about. For them, shooting a wedding is about telling your story through photography. They spend their day constantly searching for special shots that describe the importance and emotion of a wedding to not only the bride and groom, but everyone else involved. To me, I think the photos that mean the most will be the ones that are unplanned.
The pricing for Imagen blew us both away. I truly believe that Imagen is one of the best value's out there for a bride looking for special photos without breaking the bank. Basically, we get two photographers for three photo shoots. For us, we'll use them for our engagement pictures (which we're taking in just a few days!!!), our groom's dinner/welcome party at Pinstripes, and, of course, our wedding day, which includes unlimited coverage. We also get the rights to allllllll (possibly thousands in Tanya's case) images. Imagen also offers a videographer and a photo booth option as well. We for sure want our ceremony to be recorded since we are writing our own vows, and are kicking around the idea of the photo booth.
Our big engagement shoot is just a few days away, so I can't wait to report back on our many model moments!
Kara is a communications manager at U.S. Bank. See her engagement story.
Taylor is a magazine editor at MSP Communications. See her engagement story.
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